Helophilus trivittatus


This species is slightly larger and longer in build than other members of the genus, and the yellow side patches on the abdomen are more pronounced often giving a more lemony appearance. A particularly good identification feature is the fact that the face of Helophilus trivittatus is entirely pale yellow including the central stripe.

Similar Species

Helophilus pendulus, H. trivittatus and H. hybridus are all very similar. See Identification Aids below for help on separating these three species.

Identification difficulty
Identification aids

The hoverfly Helophilus pendulus is a common find, particularly around water or damp habitats. The black stripes on the thorax give it the common name 'The Footballer'. However, there are other hoverflies in the genus all with a stripy thorax. The guide below should help you to distinguish the three Helophilus species found in Leicestershire and Rutland.

Helophilis ID


It is often seen around thistles and umbellifers such as Hogweed. It seems to prefer drier areas than other members of the genus, and is often recorded in coastal locations.

When to see it

May to October peaking in August.

Life History

A strong flyer and common migrant.

UK Status

The species is widespread in England and Wales, less so in Scotland. It is never common in any of these areas.

VC55 Status

Uncommon in Leicestershire and Rutland.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map

Species profile

Species group:
Records on NatureSpot:
First record:
24/06/2005 (Nicholls, David)
Last record:
05/09/2023 (Hunt, Graham)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

10km squares with records

The latest images and records displayed below include those awaiting verification checks so we cannot guarantee that every identification is correct. Once accepted, the record displays a green tick.

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